The likelihood of Red Bank getting a third 7-Eleven anytime soon melted like a Slurpee left on a dashboard Thursday night.
After 10 months, extensive testimony and textbook-quality legal briefs on zoning law, the borough zoning board unanimously denied an application for a 7-Eleven to replace an inactive car wash at the Shell gasoline station on Newman Springs Road at Shrewsbury Avenue.
Red Bank resident Tracy Khonstam implores the zoning board to reject the planned convenience store on Newman Springs Road. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)
By SARAH KLEPNER
All the evidence is finally before the Red Bank zoning board in the matter of a proposed 7-Eleven that would replace a self-serve car wash at Wasseem Chaudhary’s Shell gas station at Shrewsbury Avenue and Newman Springs Road.
But after eight months of hearings, including one Thursday night, there’s been no up-or-down vote on whether to allow the store. The full board is expected to consider the application on August 1.
In the interim, two board members who were not present for concluding testimony and comments are expected to listen to a recording of Thursday’s hearing, said board chair Lauren Nicosia.
The plan calls for a the convenience store to be built in the northwest corner of the property. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)
By WIL FULTON
It’s Shell v. Exxon in Red Bank, and not just over the price of gas.
A proposal by the owner of the Shell station at Newman Springs Road and Shrewsbury Avenue to build a 7-Eleven store where it now has a self-serve car wash has drawn opposition from the Exxon station at the same intersection as well as nearby residents.
A lawyer for the planned 7-Eleven said signage lighting would be turned off, and other lighting would be reduced to the minimum needed for security, during the hours when the store is closed. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Ending months of wrangling and litigation in just 35 minutes, Red Bank’s planning board approved the conversion of the Welsh Farms convenience store on East Front Street to a 7-Eleven Monday night.
Not your typical 7-Eleven, though. While the parent corporation usually insists its franchisees keep their stores open 24 hours a day, it’s making an exception in this case, agreeing to limit the shop’s hours of operation to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. That’s unusual, said lawyer Philip San Filippo, representing Welsh Farms owner Dina Enterprises.
“In my experience, 7-Eleven will not agree to anything less than 24 hours,” but was allowing it at this location out of a desire to be “a good neighbor” and comply with local laws, he told redbankgreen after the hearing.
The owner of the store had sought a variance for an expansion and signage, but was derailed by a last-minute change in the noise ordinance. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The Red Bank planning board’s rejection of a proposal to turn a Welsh Farms convenience store into a 24-hour 7-Eleven has triggered a lawsuit.
Dina Enterprises, owner of the East Front Street store, filed suit in state Superior Court in Freehold August 8, claiming the board kowtowed to public opposition and exercised “palpable abuse of its discretionary authority” in rejecting an expansion variance in May.
The 6-o vote on a motion by borough Administrator Stanley Sickels was driven by one issue: the plan by the operator, Dina Enterprises, to keep the store that now closes at 10 p.m. open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Welsh Farms store on East Front Street, site of a planned 7-Eleven, would be banned from opening all night under a law passed Wednesday night. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
In a contentious exchange that appeared to foreshadow a lawsuit to come, a lawyer for a Red Bank convenience store challenged the rationale for a new local law that banned all-night businesses Wednesday night.
Squaring off against three lawyers sitting on the council dais, store attorney Philip San Filippo said a revision to a noise ordinance passed by the governing body just moments later was overly broad in scope and designed solely to torpedo his client’s plans, now pending at the borough planning board, to convert the store to a 24-hour 7-Eleven.
The law, cast as an amendment to a noise ordinance, was “absolutely” designed with his client’s plans in mind, San Filippo told reporters afterward.
“It absolutely was not,” insisted Councilman Mike DuPont, even as he touted the hastily enacted law as a “creative” response to a problem.
The unacknowledged elephant in the room: the Welsh Farms on East Front Street, now seeking to convert to an all-day 7-Eleven. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Without explaining the reason for its haste, the Red Bank Council introduced an ordinance change Thursday night to ban retail businesses from remaining open between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The law, an amendment to the town’s noise ordinance, would not apply to any business that now operates at those hours, said Mayor Pasquale Menna. Nor would it affect bars and restaurants.
Not a word was said, however, about its potential impact on the East Front Street Welsh Farms convenience store, which is in the midst of planning board hearings over cosmetic changes as it prepares to convert to a 7-Eleven and remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.